On this creepily creeping EP, the Dead Science barter in weirdness more so than musicality and fail to connect.
On their follow-up to 2005's oft-swinging and battering full-length Frost Giant, the Dead Science return here in '06 with an EP of haunted adagios, Crepuscule with the Dead Science. The mood of this new disc carries over from previous slowly churning tracks like "Sam Mickens' Dream" (that's the band's singer referring to himself), "Film Strip Collage", and "The Ghost Integrity". Those listeners who are accustomed to the Dead Science's more predominant style, which fuses the dark dissonance of early Nick Cave to Tortoise-like, jazzy post-rock, might be disappointed by this EP's creeping creepiness. Actually, I expect this disc would disappoint a lot of people. It barters in weirdness more so than musicality, tossing eerie noises over Mickens' high, unsteady tenor, as if the band were scoring an oddly mournful scene in a B horror flick. The exceptions are "Displacer Beast" (smartly chosen by the label to promote the album) and "All Ye Whom Love of Fortune" [sic], a Renaissance-era song from composer John Dowland (which actually bears the much cooler title "All Ye Whom Love or Fortune Hath Betrayed"). While retaining the same downcast mood as the rest of the EP, those two cuts are more focused and darkly beautiful. The four other tracks try too hard and fail to connect. If this is meant to be a new direction for the band, they oughtta turn back now. The Dead Science are headed for a dead end.